Today is International Sex Workers Day, known in some countries as International Whores’ Day.
On June 2, 1975, approximately one hundred prostitutes in Lyon, France, took over the Saint-Nizier Roman Catholic church to protest dangerous working conditions.
While police harshly punished prostitutes, their johns were allowed to go free. They, along with the French government, didn’t seem to consider the women citizens worthy of legal protection.
After law enforcement failed to investigate the murders of two prostitutes, a group of them went on strike and occupied the church, demanding action and fair treatment. On June 10th, the police conducted a brutal raid, removing and arresting the protestors.
Despite the outcome, the women sparked a worldwide movement. International Sex Workers Day recognizes June 2nd as the anniversary of their efforts.